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Industry Opinions: Does Drug Testing Reflect the Real Story?


Truck News Online
Originally posted at Truck News online.

This week over at Truck News online, Harry Rudolph asks the hot button question, “Has drug testing kept up with the times?” Meaning, is it just money being flushed down the toilet, while simultaneously ruining driver careers and bottom lines because it’s based on numerical data, rather than actual reality?

Harry comments on the Canadian truck driver’s point of view, but it mirrors many similar circumstances here in the US. The USA has a much higher percentage of carriers who do deep testing than Canada.  Yet many capable Canadian drivers have been nearly ruined by random results that don’t reflect the actual situation.

Here’s a few of the paragraphs and a link to the original article:

Random drug and alcohol testing has been a fact of life for Canadian truckers crossing the US border since 1996. But the initiative began much earlier in the US, as part of the strategy of former US president Ronald Reagan’s “War On Drugs.”

Federal employees were the first to be subjected to pre-employment and random tests. Soon after, the US Department of Transportation turned its attention to transportation workers occupying safety-sensitive positions, including ship captains, pilots and truck drivers.

Random drug testing has been mandated for US commercial drivers since the late 1980s and remains so to this day. Each year 10% of a carrier’s drivers are picked randomly for breathalyzer testing, while 50% are chosen for drug testing. The same formula applies to the US-certified drivers working for Canadian carriers.

From its inception, critics of the DoT program pointed out that it had political and ideological…>>>

Read the rest of this opinion column on drug testing standards at Truck News Online.

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